Juice Plus – Money Making Opportunity Or Not?
I first got hit with a Juice Plus pitch in early 2018, I think it was. A guy I know from way-back-when was posting on Facebook about his gym journey, and he was doing good, dropping weight and shaping up. Having an interest in fitness, and wanting to lose a bit of weight myself at the time, I “liked” his posts. Kudos for a job well done and all that.
Despite being aware of MLMs and such, I never really cottoned on that a pitch was coming…
And it did. I was “liking” the progress pics and that got me a private message asking how I was doing, and we got to talking about the gym. All very innocent, and so I took the bait: I told him I could be doing with dropping a little weight.
I walked head-first into a Juice Plus pitch.
Oh, man… I knew right away I wasn’t going to buy the stuff, not when the cheapest product, the ‘Body Loyal Starter Shred’, came in at £55.25 along with the commitment to agree to being billed for four straight months of it i.e. £221.
The ‘Body Loyal Transformation Package’ weighed in at £132.75, and again with the four month commitment i.e. £531.
So sod that.
Sod that even without the four month sign-up.
I thanked him for the info and said I’d look it over and get back to him. Which of course I never did.
But I’ve got to be fair to the guy, he didn’t then harangue me daily from that point forward trying to get me to sign up, or tag-bomb me in his social media posts. I only got one further follow up message a few weeks later to say there was a discount and prize-draw thing if I wanted to order anything from him before midnight.
And that was that. All the Juice Plus related Facebook posts dwindled and then finally abruptly stopped. Maybe lasted six months, if that. In that time, I did see a gallery of pics as he attended the Birmingham convention, and of most note, was that it appeared to be 90% women. At least that’s how it looked in every backdrop to his photos anyway.
Up till then there was the usual posts of the products, the slightly-to-very cringey gushing on them, and posts showing women’s weight loss along with words of encouragement.
At first I thought these were friends or customers, because there were also posts thanking folks for buying the stuff, but I soon cottoned on these were just randoms, probably re-posted across all Juice Plus reps’ social media.
There was also the lifestyle bullshit: a new purchase that’s bought off the day job’s wages but presented like it’s the fruits of the MLM. They all do that, the “living the dream thing” bit that’s all down to the fantastic business opportunity that is [insert MLM name here] – even when they just signed-up.
They’re told to do that, though. Told by Juice Plus. It’s part of the fake-it-till-you-make it façade. Or con. Whatever you prefer.
How To Lose Friends & Alienate People
But like I said, after a few months of cluttering up his own Facebook feed with this spam, it suddenly ceased, conspicuous by its absence.
In a subsequent chat the guy told me he’d rented out a room in his home and he was, “making more from that than I ever did with Juice Plus.”
But he’s a decent chap, and that precluded him from ever making it with a MLM. To make it you have to be able to sleep at night after haranguing everyone you’ve ever met into signing up for a three figure course of overpriced supplements that’s more for your financial benefit, than their health benefit.
What Is Juice Plus?
When I first saw this Juice Plus, I was looking into Herbalife, and at first mistook it for that.
I did a bit of looking around and saw this stuff has been on the go since 1993 (at least in the States), so it’s not a new boy by any stretch. “This stuff” being a range of dietary supplements.
The Next Best Thing. So not as good as the first best thing, then.
It’s made by Natural Alternatives International of San Marcos, California, for National Safety Associates (NSA) and sold under the brand name ‘Juice Plus’ through its multi-level marketing network of distributors.
And as it’s been floating around for nearly thirty years, they’ve had ample time to align themselves with the legal sidesteps required in order to avoid the charge of being labelled a pyramid scheme.
But it still is, because like all MLMs the real money’s to be made in recruiting a team if you want to reach the sort of giddy financial heights the Compensation Plan promises:
Take note that plan is sourced via the Australian regional website, and the figures are for 2014. I can’t link up a more recent average earnings disclosure for Juice Plus simply because they don’t publish one.
That there is a massive red flag in itself.
It’s also pretty concerning that the clinical reports Juice Plus references on its effectiveness, have been commissioned and paid for by themselves.
Here’s a pretty good rundown of why that’s, to put it politely, bad practice at best, misleading at worst.
I’ve seen a peculiar defence of Juice Plus’s health benefits via the claim that as many health care professionals are distributors, that in itself is a mark of quality approval.
It’s a mark of a conflict of interest and bias, I’d say: that the person stands to make financial gain by using their position of authority to direct you to a product that financially rewards them for your purchase.
That’s gotta be concerning, not relieving. Imagine being given a link to a website for health supplement products with your doctor’s promo code to enter… man, that’s just asking for scrutiny from the medical council!
Concerning too, that some of the “independent” research papers Juice Plus cites regarding its claims re health benefits, have been produced by shareholders.
Like Herbalife, a lot of the distributors get carried away and claim Juice Plus can not only aide in weight loss, but weight gain too, and anxiety, depression, muscle growth… and turn back ageing and put cancer into remission.
Now, Juice Plus is officially against any of its distributors making misleading claims for its products, but it’s so widespread it’s garnered the attention of the BBC.
And head office isn’t above these charges, either. In 2005 the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus told NSA to drop the advertising claim that their Juice Plus+ Gummies® are comparable, and thus a viable alternative to, fruit and vegetables.
In 2007 the Complaints Resolution Panel for the Therapeutic Goods Administration Advertising Code Council ruled that statements on NSA’s Juice Plus website were in breach of Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code. The panel stated that the “clear message” in Juice Plus advertising was that their capsules were the “equivalent to fruits and vegetables” and that “consuming Juice Plus tablets would help Australians to consume the ‘recommended 5-7 servings’ of fruits and vegetables.” NSA were instructed to remove any misleading claims that the products “are equivalent to fruits and vegetables or that their consumption can aid in meeting dietary recommendations relating to fruits and vegetables.”
Which is why Juice Plus now modestly say that they’re ‘the next best thing’.
But I don’t want to make this a discussion of whether Juice Plus is any good for you or not. Like the reps who sell it, I’m not a nutritionist. Personally, I’m inclined it give it the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn’t say it’s a miracle cure like some do, but I’m willing to say it won’t do you any harm.
Whether it works in weight loss, I don’t know, but again I’m willing to say that I don’t think it would hinder it. There’s plenty arguments to found on the internet about the pros and cons of it, and I’m sure you can look them up.
What we’re about here, is asking if you can make money off of being a Juice Plus distributor.
How Much Can You Make With Juice Plus?
To get in on Juice Plus you need to sign up and hand over a £50 joining fee. It’s a bit easier to join on referral, and the preferred method by Juice Plus, as this places you in a team and gives you the access to the overall support and training of your group (plus peer pressure to remain).
That the team you’re part of, and your team head, may have as much experience of sales as you do, isn’t really a consideration. What is of consideration is that the team environment will cheerlead you on, provide motivation, and thus most importantly, keep you in the MLM.
The fee you provide is a one-off, and is to cover your franchise website template and online training materials. That website will be the place where you direct your customers in order to purchase products (that you advise them to buy).
“Franchise” is a word all MLMers love to use in reference to their “business” but you’re not getting a franchise for your £50 and the application form spells that out: “I understand that my relationship to Juice Plus is as an independent contractor, and that I am not authorized to bind Juice Plus or to incur any obligation on behalf of Juice Plus.”
That isn’t just a clause peculiar to Juice Plus, the entire MLM industry has done everything it can to avoid being subject to the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rules. That’s because a true franchise arrangement would require all MLMs to provide a full disclosure of earnings, instead of the average earnings they list. Even then they’re misleading as one distributor making £100k, and ninety-nine others making £0, would work out at an average of £1k.
So you’re a rep, and an independent, self-employed one. Which in Juice Plus speak is called a “Juice PLUS+® Personal Franchise”. So it’s easy to see where the confusion comes from.
As a rep/distributor you have to be swallowing the product you’re hocking, and act as a living, walking and talking advertisement to its benefits. From Juice Plus: “Be a product of the product; if you don’t already know YOU SHOULD BE USING THE PRODUCT because if you’re not using the product then how you can share your juiceplus story/experiences?!”
Which means you have to be ordering yourself something month on month, and keep that rolling.
And Juice Plus ain’t cheap, wholesale or retail.
Okay, that’s not great, but it is a lot cheaper than a lot of other MLMs admittedly. It’s still an outgoing expense, though – unless you genuinely want to be taking the Juice Plus product of course.
What is good, is that other than that, you don’t have to outlay on inventory and stock up on product.
That there is a big difference with a lot of MLMs that are way more open to the charge of the classical rip-off pyramid scheme.
So I can’t say Juice Plus is as financially harmful as something like Herbalife.
Which isn’t a recommendation, it’s just another way of saying that you’ll still lose money, just not as much.
But what could you earn, now you’re set up? Juice Plus explains:
So you can make money purely from selling the product, but with commissions at around 6%, the bigger money is clearly in the recruiting process and those higher level bonuses.
And who doesn’t want the bigger pay cheque at the end of month?
But that’s taken as given once you join the Juice Plus pool and get immersed in a team. As the upline benefits from you recruiting, then that’s where the emphasis is, and that’s what the MLM wants you to focus on: If you sell someone a Juice Plus product, then you try and recruit them.
Remember, each team member is buying this product as well as funnelling others to place orders. Even if you get no sales, your upline, the person who signed you up, is still benefiting, and who knows, you may make a success of it – so while you’re still on board, you’re still a financial resource: “You can’t fail in this business… you can only quit!”
What Are People Really Earning With Juice Plus
Let’s have another look at those Club Level Average earnings:
And the franchise Marketing Plan:
That’s some big numbers there, once you get going.
Yet I’ve found a claim – and I’ll admit I couldn’t find the source material cited – that an independent MLM researcher had uncovered the following (bonus figures updated from original):
57% of NMDs who could make £43,200 in bonuses a year had quit.
55% of IMDs with the chance of annual bonuses of £86,000 had quit.
33% of EMDs potentially on annual bonuses of £130,000 had quit.
And 22.5% of PMDs – the top rank in Juice Plus+ who would have received £174,000 a year in bonuses alone – had quit.
If that’s true, then you’ve got to ask why over a fifth of people supposedly earning £174k+ annually, and over a third of folks raking in £130k+ a year, walked away from it.
What is true, and sourced, is the FTC’s own report on MLMs (bold formatting my own):
“With every MLM, where such data was available, and after debunking the deceptions in their reporting, the loss rate was at least 99%, using liberal assumptions relating to retention and cost of participation. The average loss rate for the 30 reported here was 99.6%. And I believe it safe to assume that the hundreds of MLMs (with the four causative and defining characteristics in their compensation plan) that do not provide such data are not likely to be more profitable because if they were, at least some would have provided data for competitive advantage.
This means that at best less than one in 100 participants in all MLMs make a clear profit, and at least 99 out of 100 participants actually lose money!”
And note the report states earlier to this, “Caution: If the MLM won’t provide statistics of average earnings, you should consider that a red flag, as it would for anything promoted as a ‘business opportunity’ or “income opportunity.”
So it’s a safe bet that Juice Plus won’t be bucking that MLM trend.
Which makes me think the folks walking away from them six figure salaries above, aren’t actually making anything like six figures. There must be other expenses and factors we’re just not getting told about. Given that most of the “success stories” are presented as humble folks, either housewives or office drones grinding the nine to five, people who have no hope in hell of ever making that sort of money in the corporate world, then why would they, or anybody, quit on that lottery ticket? Especially as MLMs always love to market themselves as more fun than work, doing it all from home or your phone, and having all the time in the world to spend life as you wish.
Something just ain’t adding up here.
How Do You Make Money From Juice Plus?
How do you become a success in Juice Plus? You recruit as we’ve already seen. Same as all MLMs, even if Juice Plus devotees like to think their MLM is “different” and “not like other MLMs”.
How do you do that though?
I took a look at some Juice Plus promo material on YouTube, and sat through their ‘Ted Talk’ lite version of motivational speakers, all of whom are up on stage because they’ve “made it” and are where you want to be.
Except I noted that despite all the raucous cheering and applause these women got, and it was all women (Bear Grylls excepted – and he’s paid to shill it like Ronaldo is with Herbalife), NOT ONE of them gave anything like one bit of practical, workable advice on how to achieve success.
It was all “keep going”, “believe in yourself” and naturally, all these speakers had to have some heartfelt, emotional string pulling story to tell, that shows they were in an even worse or more disadvantaged place than the majority of the audience, and they overcame that.
Naturally. It’s all by-the-book shilling these MLM spokespeople indulge in.
Take that Sophie Hughes. She’s lauded because in a few short years she went from office admin to having signed up a thousand people to her “bombshells” team.
And is now raking in the big bucks.
But in the same spiel she always seems to give, she never says “how” she made that happen.
Once you’ve burned through your dozen or so genuine friends on Facebook, and then the couple hundred vague acquaintances you’ve got in your friends list, where do you go?
That’s not exactly a sustainable marketing strategy, especially when they prove to be disinterested and start de-friending you.
Sophie doesn’t tell you. She just pulls on your heart strings with a sad story about a child (not to denigrate the act of selflessness she undertook) and how that charged her with the will to succeed and the belief she could do anything.
Which is great… but how did you funnel that energy? What actionable steps did you take, and what strategies did you relentlessly pursue with this newfound passion.
That, we’re never told.
We’re just told not to compare ourselves to Sophie and keep working at it. Like there’s the gym, now go it! Except find the gym yourself, and once you do, figure out for yourself what to do with what you find there.
I read that Sophie Hughes was/is a model? I’m not sure if she started modelling in the UK or Australia, if we’re talking agency or Instagram model, or pre or post Juice Plus success – because if it was “pre” then that would have given her a massive advantage, if she was a person with a sizeable social media following.
Something all the women cheering her in the audience won’t have.
Speaking of which, as I mentioned earlier, I noticed that at that UK Juice Plus convention my friend attended, it seemed to be all women. Looked to be much the same on the YouTube footage I saw of other Juice Plus shindigs. Which shouldn’t be too surprising as a fun MLM fact is that female signups account for 82% of memberships. Even in the MLMs that could be considered unisex.
Juicy Enough To Join?
As far as MLMs go, this is one of the least financially destructive in my opinion.
You don’t have a massive signup fee or minimum sales target to hit a month. Once you make a certain grade, you don’t have to maintain the sales volume that got you that promotion and you don’t lose the increased commission or promotion if you don’t hit qualifying volume again the next month.
You don’t have to load up on stock and faff around sending it, all sales take place via your website and the products are delivered direct to your clients.
That, I like: that the distributor isn’t the customer.
What I don’t like is your chances in succeeding in this “business” and the fact that all other promotional expenses incurred are yours. Plus the conventions, group meetings and other Juice Plus support network get-togethers you’re encouraged to attend as part of demonstrating your commitment.
Plus you’ve got to be a walking advert of the product so you have to purchase it at those high prices for four months at a time. If you’re going to promote it and sing its praises, you have to be seen – or pictured on social media – to be using it.
So I guess if you want samples, you have to purchase four months’ worth of them first.
I wonder if distributors have as much aggravation cancelling repeat subscriptions as everyone else does.
That’s kind of scammy of Juice Plus, when you read those reviews. It’s not just an isolated case here and there, the odd disgruntled (and probably unreasonable) customer, but a whole slew of them. The weight of public opinion is mostly definitely against the product AND the service. Of the 136 current reviews at time of writing, Excellent (33%) + Great (3%) + Average (4%) accounts for 40%. Poor (2%) + Bad (58%) makes up the other 60%.
That doesn’t bode well for repeat business or anyone doing a little digging re the product.
But the really big barrier to success with Juice Plus is simply the price. You can buy supplements and weight loss shakes over the counter, and at a fraction of the price, anywhere. Juice Plus just isn’t doing anything that you can’t get elsewhere and for cheaper. This is where the snake oil nonsense comes from, claiming Juice Plus is some kind of miracle cure-all for anxiety, depression, ageing, cancer etc, because there’s nothing to distinguish it from any other freely available, cheaper supplement.
The weight loss benefit it touts can be down as much to the diet recommendations that accompany the products. In fact you could skip the product, just go on the diet, and you’d still lose weight.
Like I did. At the beginning of this article I said I landed myself in the midst of a Juice Plus pitch because I was looking to lose some weight… well, I did and without the gym too.
I’d injured my shoulder and exercise involving upper body was pretty much off the rota. In that time I addressed my diet, the first time I’d really focused on it, and hey presto, in three months that weight I’d wanted to shift was gone. With doing nothing other than changing my eating habits.
No shakes or supplements involved. Plenty fresh fruit and vegetables, however. Which if Juice Plus is “the next best thing” to, then the original was better. It was cheaper too. And this notion that somehow it’s easier or faster to use Juice Plus… how damn long does it take you to eat a banana or apple?! Even if popping a capsule is faster, I reckon I can live with losing the extra couple of minutes it takes to actually eat naturally!
So it looks to me like you have a very large and daunting uphill battle to face if you’re in this for the money and so-called business opportunity.
And if you fight your way up that hill, as we’ve seen, there’s a large percentage of your comrades who’ve surrendered, even those who’ve reached the summit.
There’s no explanation forthcoming from Juice Plus on why that is, either. Why people would abandon those touted high salaries when they wouldn’t get anything like that kind of money anywhere else.
Maybe it’s precisely because they only ever remain “potential earnings” and nobody ever sees anything like that kind of money. That’s what I think.
There’s way more minuses and red flags than there are green ticks for Juice Plus, but it isn’t as harmful to your bank balance as some MLMs.
So while I wouldn’t recommend joining Juice Plus, I’d say if you do, it won’t hurt you as much as some others.
That’s about as best as I can say.
I’ll leave you with a final word from the FTC on the business model that Juice Plus operates: “MLMs are the most unfair and deceptive of all business opportunities”.
But I Still Want To Make Some Money!
If you want to take a look at something that gives you a real chance at making some money from home, in your own hours, and without having to alienate every friend on Facebook, then check out Wealthy Affiliate (WA).
I’m with them, learned from them, stayed with them, and host my websites on them. That’s since 2016. If I’d found something amiss, or detected bullshit, I wouldn’t be: I’d be gone. You can read my review of WA here.
There’s no credit card required to sign-up for “verification” bullshit purposes, you get a week’s worth of free membership to look around and see if it’s for you, and if not, you just drop out and that’s that.
If you got a bit of persistence and patience, it’s for you. If you want to be a millionaire by next week, there’s a thousand scammers out there happy to take a three or four figure fee off you to tell you how. I write about them on this site in fact. WA deals in reality with results coming from the same place.
Up to you.